Just out of curiosity, what sort of food do you eat when out on long rides? Being vegan I am fairly restricted, but I find that McVitie’s HobNobs are great because:
They have a lot of sugar in, good for short bursts of energy
The oats give sustained release of energy
They’re so oaty and crunchy and tasty!!
What other sorts of foods do you take if you’re doing MUni or long distance road riding?
Apples. Healthy, sugary and they won’t melt. Plus they don’t leave any rubbish, either…
Coincidentally, I was only discussing this the other day with my brother, who knows a thing or two about such things. He coaches a dragon boat team and does ‘iron man’ challenges and the like.
Also, I am vegetarian (but not vegan).
Put simply, you need energy and water. Eating protein on the ride won’t help you, as protein is for building muscles, and that will happen after the ride. You don’t need vitamins as they are for general health, rather than to keep you going.
So, energy and water.
If doing a long ride, eat plenty of pasta the night before. It is a slow release energy source. If you eat pasta during the day’s ride, it will slow you down.
A couple of bananas before the ride will release their energy over the next hour or so. Sugary snacks and drinks (NOT fizzy) will give a sudden boost of energy. (Too much all at once will cause a reaction and make you sluggish.)
So, for a vegan or vegetarian, you can’t go wrong with bananas, apples, oranges etc., and of course Hob Nobs. :0) If you make sandwiches, keep the fillings light and easy. You won’t eat cheese, egg or meat anyway, and they are the ‘heavy’ protein fillings to avoid.
And drink plenty of water.
For the 24hr I’m planning on eating (or drinking maybe) lot of tubes of this horrible tasting energy goo from the bike shop. It gives you a quick burst of energy.
Sometimes I make bisquits out of vegetable oil, flour, coconut and lots of dried fruit. I haven’t tried them for muni (no money, no muni ), but they have been great on long bike rides etc.
They have a good blend of quick and slow carbohydrates, they taste great and they are vegan, if thats your thing.
You won’t give you quite the burst of energy you get from gel etc. but if you eat them before you are completely out of energy it won’t matter.
I haven’t been any uni rides long enough to require anyting besides water and a snack but when I was doing distance road bicycling I had great success with Cytomax in my water and powerbars, cliff bars, snicker bars, and the fruits etc. mentioned prior to munch on.
You can look at this two ways, either eat a mixture of slow release and fast release carbohydrates at intervals, or just eat fast release carbohydrates very frequently. In polaris challenges (mountain bike orienteering) where you have to carry all your kit and food with you, some people have survived for a couple of days almost entirely on sugar or jelly babies etc. just because it’s the lightest way to carry energy around. I wouldn’t recommend it for non race conditions though.
I usually have a big high carbohydrate breakfast (cereal + soya milk + 3 slices of jam on toast) before leaving and almost always have big carbohydrate dinners the evening before anyway.
When riding normally, I sometimes eat muesli bars, if you eat honey, then Traidcraft GeoBars (from sainsburys in boxes of 6) are okay, don’t contain any dairy and are much cheaper than powerbars or other bike things. I’ve also recently got into buying packets of skittles (which are Vegan in the UK but not in the US) and eating one of those every minute or so, which is good for when you’re really pushing it. Also Frys mint or chocolate cream bars (from newsagents - vegan I think) are great for long rides when you need a sugar buzz, on my 29er I ride faster for about 5-10 miles on one bar, splitting it into two, wolfing one half, riding like mad until I start tiring and finishing it off. Another thing I’ve had before is green & blacks maya gold chocolate, which is real quality dark chocolate with an orangy spicy flavour, is dairy free and yummy, although I guess the caffeine in it might make it bad as an energy food and it’s very impractical in summer cos it melts.
If I’m racing, I use EnergySource energy powder added to the water in my camelbak at slightly under the recommended concentration. It’s not too expensive, a huge supply (lasted me well over a year so far) costs about £12-15. Also I eat lots of bananas, as when you’re riding hard, your body doesn’t want to eat anything harder. If it’s a long race I’ll drink lots of energy drink for a couple of hours beforehand to get my energy levels up. I use the energy powder stuff if I’m feeling at all ill or like I’m coming down with a cold, otherwise it’s all too easy to make the cold much worse.
redbull… rocky road granola bars… mars bars
Dont mention the Maya Gold!! Im drooling more and more just thinking about it.
Warning to any vegans out there:
Apparently Fry’s have announced a milk contamination of their cream bars. Dont eat any for a while until they’ve cleared up the problem.
Bananas are always good energy, but I find that if you have some in your bag and you fall off they make a horrible gooey mess.
Try this for banana related fun and frolics:
I went for a long (38 mile) ride a few weeks back, and packed a couple of bananas. Being of a tidy disposition, and knowing that banana skins don’t biodegrade very quickly, I put the skins in the top pocket of my rucksack.
My intended lunch stop was closed, so I went into a shop to buy a newspaper and a chocolate bar. I belatedly realised my money was in the top pocket of my rucksack with the banana skins. I reached in, and all the loose coins were slimy yucky 'orrible with banana. The lady in the shop had already rung the items into the till, and had her hand out for the money.
Quick as a flash, I dropped the coins on the floor, mumbled an apology, and, as I went to pick them up, I scrubbed them on the carpet with the sole of my shoe. It nearly worked - the coins were still sticky, but at least they weren’t slimy.:o